jump to navigation

Gaming History You Should Know – Video Game Animatronics September 18, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday. Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently created history videos across the web on a variety of gaming sources. As a lover of theme parks, I know there can be nothing more immersive to see in a theme park ride than a great animatronic. If you’re unaware of the concept, an anamorphic is essentially a preprogrammed robot designed to resemble a real-life character. Due to the cost and difficulty required to create them, animatronics typically appear in theme park rides and attractions. The first known example was Walt Disney’s recreation of President Lincoln for the 1964 World’s Fair. Currently, the best animatronic I can think of in operation is the one of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Disney’s California Adventure. That said, the to-scale King Kong Universal Studios Florida made for the defunct Kongfrontation ride holds a special place in my heart.

The guys over at Fastpass Facts, which is a great reference for theme park animatronic history, did a great video on the known history of animatronics of characters made famous in video games. Let’s take a look!

Gaming History You Should Know – History of Fatal Fury September 12, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
add a comment

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not Sunday and we already talked about the Neo-Geo. So what gives? Well, we revealed we’ll be celebrating the history of the NEO-GEO platform on the site throughout the week. Today, we’ll be talking about one of the most recognized game franchises on the NEO-GEO platform, Fatal Fury.

Across the web I found three different documentary series I believe could be considered the definitive history lessons on the franchise. Rather than decide which one you should watch, I decided to highlight every one of them and let you decided for yourselves which you think is the best.

First off, we‘re going to highlight the work of Matt McMuscles, the YouTube Channel most known for the What Happened? series. He’s also an enormous fan of the Fatal Fury franchise and did a great documentary on the series that everyone should watch.

Next we’re going to be highlighting another great YouTube channel, Thorgi’s Arcade. In the second episode of his series on Fighting Games, he was asked by his fans to cover Fatal Fury. Give it a watch!

Last up, we want to highlight the work of the NeoGeoNow, an incredible YouTube channel focused on the beloved platform. He produced a three-episode documentary on the franchise, focusing on a new era with each episode. I’m sure we’ll be featuring more of this channel’s work later on this week.

Hope you’re enjoying our week on the Neo-Geo! More content will be coming throughout the week!

Gaming History You Should Know – History of the NEO-GEO September 11, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized, Week of Neo-Geo.
add a comment

Last month, the team over at SNK announced they will be reviving one of the most beloved dormant 2D fighting franchises in gaming history, Fatal Fury. For those of you who don’t know very much about the Fatal Fury franchise, be aware that you are in good company. The games were originally developed for a platform meant exclusively for the arcade market.

Please remember that during the early to mid 90s arcades were back in a big way. While home consoles were available with platforms like the NES, SNES and Sega Genesis, arcade machines were still able to produce superior graphics and sound. Many gaming companies of the day including SEGA, Midway and Atari, strived to make the best looking games they could using custom arcade hardware. Only later, if the game was an arcade success, would a port be considered for home console release. Sadly, due to the fact the gaming experience developed on custom arcade hardware could not be completely replicated on the consoles of the day, these ports could not be completely accurate to the arcade experience, and gamers knew it. Because of that, the business of an arcade was booming once again!

However, while arcades were making good profits at the time, new arcade machines were expensive, and many venues would settle for converting the existing cabinets of unpopular titles to free up space and save on cost for newer titles. While this was a great practice for arcades, it had many downsides. It was difficult to revert existing machines back to their earlier state if the newer game they replaced wasn’t as popular as the older game. Then, a company called SNK decided to do something about that.

SNK developed a top of the line arcade cabinet which was capable of playing a wide range of arcade games. How did it work? It wasn’t that dissimilar an experience to changing out the game cartridges on a Genesis or NES console. This gave arcade owners the chance to easily rotate the game offerings on their game floors, as well as saved them countless dollars in not having to repurchase new hardware every time a new title would be released by SNK. This platform would become known as the NEO-GEO.

How fondly remembered is the NEO-GEO these days? Here’s an incredible music video made a decade ago by Nathan Barnett as his character Keith Apicary.

First up, I want to re-highlight the work of YouTube Channel, Wrestling with Gaming, which has always been able to produce incredible documentaries about gaming history other people may not even remember. If you wanted to see a NEO-GEO documentary on the platform that is so good it might as well have been broadcasted on tv, start here.

Next up, I’d like to highlight the retrospectives of the legendary PatMan QC. His work has always been to create reference quality retrospectives on arcade games and game platforms. He goes really into depth on showcasing the games released for the platform, and just how many platforms are currently out there on the wild. Give it a watch!

Also, for those of you who may fondly remember the best days of G4, you probably remember the show Icons. It detailed the history of a wide range of gaming franchises and platforms. They dedicated an entire episode to the rise and fall of the NEO-GEO and it would be a shame for me to not include it here.

If you’re interested in more about the NEO-GEO, I have great news. We are planning to dedicate multiple articles this week to the venerable platform. Hope you all enjoy!

If you would like to see Nathan’s NEO-GEO cabinet for yourself, last I checked it was still operating at the Funspot in New Hampshire.

Gaming History You Should Know – The History of Rogers: The Musical April 1, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Happy April Fool’s Day! No one could ever forget where they were during the events of the Battle of New York, where the Earth survived its first-ever alien invasion due to the heroic intervention of a Billionaire, a Norse God, The World’s Greatest Archer, The World’s Greatest Assassin, a gamma-irradiated supergenius, and a WWII-era super soldier. We’ve come to know them as The Avengers and for the past decade they’ve been Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, capable of fighting the battles we never could. Personally, I’ve lost track of the amount of times they’ve saved the world, either individually or as a group, so you’ll forgive me for glossing over their reputation. I for one am just grateful for their service.

Following the events of The Blip and The Battle of Earth, which saw the tragic deaths of Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America, The Avengers have all but dissolved. In the time since the Battle of Earth, video game adaptations of The Avengers’ exploits continue to live on with the phenomenal Ultimate Alliance series, and the upcoming Spider-Man and Wolverine games by Insomniac. But recently, there has been a different kind of adaptation over the past year, the Tony-Award Winning Megablockbuster, Rogers: The Musical. Based on the life of the late Steve Rogers, who we know as Captain America, the musical has been a tremendous success setting ticket records Broadway hadn’t seen in years.

YouTube Channel Wait in the Wings, which we’ve featured before on this website, did a phenomenal history video on one of the greatest musicals ever made. How do you create such a masterpiece when half your production staff disappear for five years? To say it was an Avengers-Level challenge would be an understatement.

Gaming History You Should Know – History of Computer Smartwatches March 27, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Sunday and what better day to kick off the restart of GameXcess.net than to celebrate with another look back at the history of gaming! This is Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight and share some of the best independently produced content on the history of gaming.

Nowadays, everyone is rocking some type of computer watch, be it an Apple Watch or Gear device. Most of these have full color displays, are capable of wireless data transmission, and keep track of time, alarms, appointments, and even health biometrics. Some of them are even able to play games! (Apple Watch gamers, I recommend Lifeline, Lifeline: Silent Night, and Cosmos Rings as must-play games!)

However, before the Apple Watch found its way on nearly everyone’s wrist, there were many other attempts, some by major companies, to sell computer watches to consumers’. So where did all of this begin, at least as far as consumers are concerned? Fear not, YouTube Legend Techmoan has us covered with a look at what I’m pretty sure is the first consumer level computer watch. It was not cheap, and it was likely meant to be used by wealthy pilots, lawyers and other businessmen, but it had incredible features and the ability to do time-based calculations that I haven’t even seen modern smartphones capable of doing! I present…the HP-01!

Unfortunately the HP-01 was way before my time. When I was growing up, I fondly remembered the classic CASIO wrist calculator watches my father would never go anywhere without. In the days before I got my first Game Boy, the fact my dad could do calculations on his wrist was something incredible. While I did eventually get a CASIO of my own, I had no idea CASIO and other companies like them released several revisions of LCD watches with a bit more of a gaming focus. Seriously.

YouTube channel Nostalgia Nerd, who I remember fondly for his knowledge of British Microcomputers, produced this great look at some of the more obscure calculator watches. Some of these just blew my mind with how they were able to innovate with the tech of the time. Heck, some of these used infrared transmitters to not just swap information, but to play multiplayer games against each other. Check it out!

Finally, I wanted to talk about one of the most obscure designs for a watch that harkened back to the days of Palm. Now that Palm figured out the most basic functions a tech enthusiast needed on the go (calendar, address book, clock, alarms), the watch maker TIMEX made the evolutionary step to put a PDA in a high-end watch. To sync, you merely needed some software that could transmit your settings and features through your CRT’s blanking signal (or a separate transmitter if you used a laptop). Sound insane? YouTube channel LGR has that part covered.

Gaming History You Should Know – Video Game Lost Media January 9, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for us to once again discuss Gaming History You Should Know. Recently, I’ve been impressed by the deep documentaries produced by YouTube Channels like BlameitonJorge and All Things Lost, where they have gone into deep searches for obscure media. In fact, we even did our own lost media search last week. However, I’m sure you’ve seen that there have been much more of video game related content that is considered lost. This title can be bestowed on content that has either been finished and withheld from release or released before the opportunity for archiving

First off, we’re going to highlight one of the biggest franchises in the world, Pokémon. Due to the fact it has been releasing games, movies, toys, television shows and spin-off games for twenty-five years. YouTube Channel PaPaSec has created what is probably one of the tightest videos I’ve seen about the most well-known Pokémon lost media. Check it out!

Next up, we’re going to highlight the work of the adorable YouTube Channel Sakura Stardust. In this video, she talks about some of the most obscure lost Pokémon media. How obscure is some of this? I’ve been following Pokémon for years and I hadn’t even HEARD of some of this stuff. Enjoy.

Moving on from Pokémon, let’s talk about another classic game franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog. YouTube Channel All Things Lost, one of the best Lost Media channels on the web, has us covered. He highlights some of the lost media and incomplete Sonic games that have not been archived. Sonic X-Treme is not featured, as it has been found.

So that was just the tip of the iceberg for some video game content that is currently considered lost. I’m sure in the future we will have another article like this, so until next time, Happy New Year!

Gaming History You Should Know – Springboard: The First Smartphone December 19, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

I know what you’re thinking, we already had a Gaming History You Should Know earlier in the week. Merry Christmas, here’s a bonus article that was too good to save for later!

Back in the late 90s and early 00s, Portable Digital Assistants (PDAs) were the go-to option for people who needed a digital device on their person. A PDA, like the famous Palm Pilot, could keep digital notes, addresses, schedule, and some of the later models were even capable of mobile e-mail. However, unlike today’s smartphones (which can also do all of that) you couldn’t make a call with a PDA. If you wanted to make a call on the go, you’d need to pull your cell phone out of a different pocket to make that call.

The original founders of Palm knew that the future of PDAs would require the ability to make calls. However, Palm’s owners and the cell phone providers at the time disagreed, preferring to keep business as usual until time itself ended. So, Palm’s owners left the company and formed a new one, Handspring. The rest of that story is the subject of today’s history lesson.

The guys over at The Verge just produced this fantastic documentary on the history of Handspring. In it, they interview some of the company founders, dig deep into the products the company released, and talk about the enduring legacy of the smartphone. Check it out!

Gaming History You Should Know – Where Did Street Fighter’s Hadouken Come From December 17, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

I know it isn’t Sunday yet, but this was too good a scoop to not talk about. One of the most famous fighting moves in the history of video games is the Hadouken from Street Fighter. When done correctly by a trained artist like Ken or Ryu, the move allows its wielder to throw a ball of fire out of their hands towards their opponent.

Of course, in real life the Hadouken doesn’t exist…or does it? Sadly, there is no known way to actually perform a fighting move that will enable you to create fire out of nothing. However, we have seen in the game Ken and Ryu both perform a very distinctive move with their hands before the fire is thrown. Does that move have any basis in real martial arts? YouTube historian Mr. Dan, host of Art of One Dojo, has gotten to the bottom of this age old question. He was able to interview the legendary Johnpaul Williams, who was used as the model for the original arcade games. During this interview, we’ve discovered the real history of the iconic move. Guys, we’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.

Street Fighter games are out now on multiple platforms including the arcade.

Gaming History You Should Know – History of TRON October 10, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Sunday! Time for another Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced videos about the making of video games. Today, I know we’re going to talk about a movie but I can assure you if you stick with me this story will get back to gaming.

Known for its animated classics like Snow White, Pinocchio and Cinderella, no company is more recognized in the US for groundbreaking animation as the Disney studio. However, following the death of its founder, and a decade before Disney started taking over theaters with incredible successes like Lion King and Aladdin, Disney was in a rut. The studio had weathered several theatrical flops, and would need to weather several more.

It may seem like a hopeless time, but for creative companies, being down can get them to take some more unusual risks. In the early 80s, a man named Steven Lisberger was making a name for his company working on a new type of light infused animation that used photo gels on animation cells to create a “glow” effect. At the same time, personal computers were starting to take off, and it was becoming common for nearly every office space to require interacting with a computer.

At the time, computers were dark and mysterious things to the general public and most of the contemporary Sci-Fi stories foretold computers bringing about the end of mankind. However, Steven Lisberger became interested in telling a story about just what was going on INSIDE the computer. He theorized the programs we created would be a lot like us, and they may in fact view us in the same way we would perceive a great creator. In the end, he convinced Disney to create one of the most technologically groundbreaking film of the time, TRON.

Toy Galaxy, who is famous for talking about some of the cult classic shows from the 80s and 90s, did their most recent video about TRON. It talks about the inspiration behind the film, its reception at the time and the film’s enduring legacy.

Man, I really wish TRON 2.0 was still canon.

Gaming History You Should Know – Sir Clive Sinclair September 26, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Sunday, welcome back to another Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced documentaries across the web about the history of games. If you followed the news this past week, you may have learned that we recently lost one of the original pioneers of home PC gaming, Sir Clive Sinclair. If you are a British visitor to this website the name above may be a bit more familiar. Sir Clive was of a mind that personal computers should be cheap and readily available to everyone. While this philosophy sounds great on paper, anyone with computing background will tell you that if you are sourcing cheaper parts, you will sacrifice either quality or performance. In the case of the Sinclair computer, while it wasn’t as robust as a Commodore 64 or Apple II, nor could it have as good a performance as either, its lower price made it a good choice for young people to use as their first PC.

Before we talk about the man, I want to talk a bit about the machines that bore his name. Here’s a video produced by the 8-Bit Guy, who talked about the Sinclair computers. He mostly highlights the computers that made their way over to the US, but they are fairly comparable to the more common UK units. I honestly had never experienced using these machines back in the 80s, so this is a great video to watch them in action.

Next we are going to talk about the man behind the machine, and also about the impact the man and the machine had on so many people. Here’s the work of Computerphile, a channel I appreciate for their detailed documentaries about computer history. In this special video, they interviewed many people from the classic gaming community to share their thoughts about the Sinclair platform and about their experiences with the man himself. Enjoy.

Rest In Peace, Sir.